The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “community

2018’s Greatest Danger to Democracy

Posted on January 4, 2018

Ugh. We get into the same bind every year. New Years is a time of resolutions and some of them inevitably deal with our hopes for a better society, cleaner environment, a functional equality between the genders, and our desire for meaningful work, to name just a few. And then we look back a few months later and realize we didn’t make it. Somehow the rigors of life got between us and our aspirations. If we’re not careful, 2018 could end up looking a lot like last year. For democracy to truly work, it will take more than just wishing it to be so – we must become essential parts to its overall performance. But that’s just the problem: society seems to go on…

The Ripping of Our Social Fabric

Posted on December 30, 2017

Another year is ending, and in some respects we are more divided as Londoners than ever – not a popular sentiment, I know, but one with which we must come to terms. Somewhere in the last few years, the possibilities we once envisioned for social media to help guide us into a more collaborative future have floundered. Friendships have been lost, enemies gained, and a brighter future dimmed. It has exacerbated an already difficult generational divide in London and threatens to derail our potential. We’re not alone in this challenge, as communities around the world wrestle with a remarkable resource that has somehow turned citizens against one another. News was made recently when former Facebook executive, Chamath Palihapitiya, spoke out concerning the harm the…

Community Amnesia – Part 1

Posted on December 8, 2017

Today I lunch with a good friend and committed journalist trying to come to terms with the loss of his job because of the recent Postmedia-TorStar deal that closed a good number of local newspapers across Canada, including London. He is one of those people who is his writing; it’s how he chronicles his aspirations and struggles, his belief in community and his own place within it. There are many like him now wondering how to navigate their future. The communities are still here, but many of their dedicated storytellers are gone. Such thoughts abounded when I came across CBC London’s Kate Dubinsky’s piece on what happens to the archives of such publications when they close down. You can read it here. She rightfully…

A Village State of Mind

Posted on December 3, 2017

There’s no denying it – Christmas and a village just go together. There’s the original Santa’s Village, where the famous bearded man and his wife lived and toiled with the elves. There are replicate Santa’s Villages in over 40 countries, including our own province. Even Bethlehem, in the time of Jesus, is referred to by some commentators as a village. And the Whos from Whoville in Dr. Seuss’s famous How the Grinch Stole Christmas, lived in village that was ingeniously located on a snowflake. Every year around this time families begin digging out the boxes with the little figurines, which, when compiled together, become ornate or rustic villages placed on tabletops or on a piano. So, yes, “Christmas and the village” go comfortably together…

How Our Libraries Opened My Eyes

Posted on December 3, 2017

It’s called epiretinal membrane disease and the implications seemed more than serious. A condition where a scar tissue-like membrane coats the retina at the back of the eye, the disease left me with only two options: major surgery on both eyes or continual decline of sight. I opted for the former, and the good professionals at the Ivey Eye Institute, following two major procedures, successfully removed both membranes, effectively stopping the disease. Nevertheless, my eyesight isn’t what it was and new challenges have emerged. The most serious has been the effect on my ability to read effectively. It hasn’t been easy. But as it has during so many other important occasions in my life, the London Public Library has guided me through difficult days.…

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